The Wizard of Oz is a magical film. Ostensibly a children’s movie, it’s filled with little “morality plays” about good versus evil, the use of power, family, friendship, and the choices we all make.
To me, it boils down to The Scarecrow or the Tin Man. One wants to be smart; the other wants a heart: Brains versus Emotions.
When you think about it, the Scarecrow stands out in our minds because of what we felt about him BEFORE he got brains. The Tin Woodsman cried (which rusted him up, and made him creaky), and as children watching it, we all cried. The lesson: There’s certainly nothing wrong with Smart, but Heart matters more.
Remember this the next time you open the mic. If you’ve left your heart out of the equation, you’ve missed the boat. If I listen for an hour, and don’t learn something about how you FEEL, that was a wasted hour.
When was the last time someone did something for you?
When was the last time a business did something for you?
Now it gets harder. When was the last time a radio station did something for you?
In his book “Know What You’re For,” Jeff Henderson shares that most businesses see their customers as fans in the stands rooting for the business. His suggestion is transformative. Imagine your customers are on the field and you’re rooting for them.
We’re really good at talking about ourselves, how “real” we are, and what we want from our listeners (“help keep us on the air”), but we fall short in demonstrating what our listeners mean to us.
After a terrible 108-loss season, Baltimore Oriole players sent out thousands of handwritten thank you cards to every one of their season ticket holders.
Planet Fitness decorates their walls with encouragement to those working out. “You did something great today!”
With the way the so-called “News” is going nowadays, the easiest thing to do is to simply bring a subject up, then mock it or put a cheap punch line at the end.
But here’s the thing… radio – in ALL formats – owes the listener more than that. We’re primarily here to inform, entertain, or both. But I hear music formats that sound lifeless, Imaging in some formats that seems to be sneering in their delivery, “Content” that’s just celebrity gossip flotsam and jetsam, and Talk Radio shows that are just “adopting a posture” and spouting the same one-sided opinions every day.
We can all remember the first time someone said, “I love you.” (We can also painfully remember each time someone didn’t).
We are created to be known. From the early playground experiences of “Mommy, mommy, look at me,” to the moment you discovered the pretty girl knew your name.
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything.”Timothy Keller
Being known means we’re valued, seen as special. Being known validates who were are, that we have worth.
Hallmark knows this.
Here’s a little tidbit I heard and wrote about years ago, but it bears revisiting.
The story is that Steve Jobs, in an Apple “think tank” meeting, challenged everyone with three questions:
- What would be cool?
- What would be fun?
- What would benefit the life of the customer?
If you want a real “mission statement,” that’s it. And it directly applies to radio. If we’re always thinking “What would be cool?” “What would be fun?” and “What would benefit the life of the listener?” we can’t go wrong.
I would back this up with three questions of my own:
- Does your station even think about this?
- If not, why not?
- And how long do you want to totally miss the whole point of even HAVING a radio station in the first place?